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Archives for November, 2008

Pieces, Closures, Stitches: Details from 19th Century Silk Yose Juban or Aigi

November 30, 2008

All of the detail photos shown below are taken from the backs of 19th century piece constructed silk under-kimono, which are called either juban or aigi.

The term yose refers to something being pieced together.   The skill at hand stitching  shown in these photos is extraordinary if you consider how the pieces join in perfectly straight lines and are detailed in very tight angles.  Just look.

Keep in mind that the dyes used to color these silks are botanical: oranges are reds are from safflower or benibana, purples are from gromwell root or shikon, blues and greens are derived from indigo or ai.

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Three Gorgeous Boro Aprons and Two Wonderful “Horn Bags”

November 25, 2008

I’m showing three boro aprons and two tsunobukuro, or “horn” bags; tsunobukuro are referred to by this name because the top of the bags have two points, or so-called “horns.”

The two aprons on the bottom of the photo above are made of indigo dyed hemp; the top apron is made of a variety of indigo dyed cotton kasuri cloth which has been beautifully and crudely stitched together.

This magnificently and richly patched boro apron is a marvel, and it is one of my favorite pieces here at Sri.  It is made entirely of small fragments of indigo dyed hemp cloth, most of which are koshi, or checked.  The layers of cloth and the radically crude stitching–not to mention the color–add up to make this a jewel of a boro textile.  Hard to dispute.

Imagine that the textures of this apron are very much that of hemp cloth; most likely these fragments are from the nineteenth century.  The stitching–which is eccentric, intense and all-over–is done with white cotton thread.

This is an unusual tsunobukuro because it is made of katazome dyed hemp cloth: very often tsunobukuro are made of undyed hemp.  This one has been dyed in the stencil resist, katazome method.  This bag comes to us from Nambu, in the very remote Aomori Prefecture, the northernmost area on Honshu island.

The inside of the bag is shown in order to highlight the beautiful patches and stitching.

Tsunobukuro are made from one length of cloth that has been twisted and sewn on the bias.  Most likely, tsunobukuro were used for storage.

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